I sewed quite a few things last year that didn’t make it onto my blog. Some items I just never got around to writing about and some just weren’t worth their own post. So here they all are in one quick and dirty post. Well, not literally dirty (although there are plenty of wrinkles). I had to do a lot of laundry to get everything clean for the pictures, since most of these are items that my family’s been wearing frequently.
Last summer I sewed up cotton thermal long underwear for the whole family so we could all stay nice and warm this winter. I bought a 15 yard lot of pink cotton thermal knit fabric, and sewed it all up at once. I was really sick of pink by the time I was done! I dyed my husband’s long johns a more masculine color, but my son opted to leave his pink.
For myself, I based the pattern on my self-drafted pajama pattern, for my daughter I made a pattern based on a RTW long sleeve tee and leggings, and for my son and husband I used Jalie 2328.
A winter storm knocked out our power for a couple of days when I was behind on laundry, and my son needed some new underwear anyway, so I sewed him a couple of pairs of knit boxer briefs on my treadle zig-zag sewing machine while wearing a headlamp. That was pretty fun. After the power came back on, I sewed up a few more pairs using my serger. For the pattern, I copied his RTW underwear and graded it up to fit.
I turned four yards of purple cotton knit into long sleeve and 3/4 sleeve Grainline Lark Tees for me, a long sleeve tee for my daughter, an SBCC Tonic Tee for me, and a pair of underwear for me.
I upcycled a couple of my old maternity tees into a shirt for my daughter and a pair of underwear for me. The neckline binding on the shirt was made with my new industrial-style binding attachment that fits on a regular sewing machine. I’ll do a post about the binder once I’ve practiced with it a bit more.
I made myself a crushed velour Lark tee for the holidays. When my daughter saw the fabric, she wanted one too.
Here are a couple more Lark tees. They are made from thin wool/rayon blend jersey. They make a nice inner layer in the winter.
I made a Watson-ish bra. The bra below was my third try. For the first version, I used the long-line Watson pattern without alterations, choosing a size based on my measurements. It was too small and tight. I have this problem all of the time – since I have wide breasts, my measurements don’t give a good indication of my cup size – so I don’t fault the pattern. But I had to start somewhere, so I started with the size I measured for. On the first test bra, the cups were way too small, the band was too tight, and the band was too long. The lower edge of the band cut into me below the ribs, I imagine since I’m petite and have a short ribcage. For the second version, I used a cup pattern several sizes larger and a larger band size, but it still cut in below the ribs. I guess I just can’t wear a long-line bra. By the third version, I had completely re-designed the band to match the band shape from a self-drafted pattern I was working on. The bra is reasonably comfortable and I wear it occasionally, but the only support comes from the straps, so I don’t know if I’ll make any more. This bra design would have been a good one for me a couple of decades ago before I actually needed support.
I made a quilt for my husband for Christmas. I used Quilter’s Dream wool batting, which seems to be pretty good stuff. It survived the first washing without any problems, anyway.
And finally, I made a wearable muslin of the Cashmerette Appleton dress. I graded down to a size 10 for most of the dress, but I went up to a size 14 at the back hip. After comparing the pattern pieces to my personal block pattern, I decided to shorten the pattern 1/2″ at the bust level. In retrospect, I’m not sure that was a good idea. I think I also need to cut a larger size for the front hip and below, since it doesn’t overlap enough. Next time I’m going to try interfacing the vertical hems on the wrap skirt edges to see if that helps prevent the sagging and lack of wrapping problems, too. This is a flattering and comfortable dress, though, so I’m going to put in the work to get the fit and length right, and then I’ll get some good fabric to make more Appletons.
Here are some overexposed pictures of the Appleton, so you can see the details:
Hello! I enjoy your blog. I am anxious to know what sort of “industrial style binder” you have found. I have tried several styles of vintage and modern binders with hit or miss success. I am looking forward to your upcoming post on it…. in the mean time any chance you can share a link to where you purchased it? Thanks! Jon
I bought my binder on ebay from the seller ngosew. They used to have several sizes for sale, but now I only see the 12 mm finish size. I don’t know if they will get more, so if you want one, you’d better order it soon. The binder I got can attach to either a sewing machine or coverstitch machine and it has the strip of fabric coming in at a 90 degree angle to the stitches, which is best for knit fabrics.
There are other styles of binders made for industrial sewing machines (such as this one) that will fit on home sewing machines if you have screw holes on the machine bed to the right of the presser foot. These binders have the fabric strip coming in at a 45 degree angle and are designed for woven bias tape, although they might work with knits, too.
If you primarily want to use your binder for knit fabric, you might also be able to use a coverstitch binder. You would have to use poster putty and/or tape to hold it in place, since the attachment holes don’t line up with those on a sewing machine.
Search on ebay for “industrial binder” and you will see lots of different styles of binders.
I use my regular presser foot with the binder, since I couldn’t find anything better for my short shank machines. I had problems with the stitching wandering off the edge of the binding. The only thing that helped was to use an awl to press down on the binding and keep it straight right before it went under the presser foot.
I discuss the binder more in this post: Coverstitch Alternatives